Healthy Food Strategy for Urbanizing Society

About Solution

Urban population (% of total) in Bangladesh was reported at 36.63% in 2018, according to the world bank collection of development indicators.It posed a great challenge to make available healthy food for rising urban populations.There will be interventions on whole food system from production to supply chain, retailing, health education and behavioral change.The first step would be remediation of the soil which largely degraded by mono culture of paddy, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and deadly pesticides which entered the food chain. The remediation will increase organic substance of soil from present less than 1% to minimum required 5%, protect soil from contamination by industrial and domestic waste. At production level mono culture of paddy will be replaced by introduction of vegetables, fruits, tuber like orange-fleshed sweet potato, oil seeds and spices including onion, garlic, ginger etc.The targets will be small land holders who increasingly find farming is not rewarding enough for livelihood. The chemical fertilizers and deadly pesticides will be gradual replacement by vermin compost, green manuring and planting leguminous plants. The supply chain improvement will be brought about by using better varieties and high quality planting materials, introduction of improved production technology, improving soil management, introducing crop rotation, farm mechanization, improved irrigation, disease management & pest control, reduce post-harvest losses, investment in cold storage and contract farming. Preservation packaging, cold room and chilled transport could reduce an estimated 35%of wastage , improving quality which in turn can fetch a better price for all players in supply chain.Focus will be on production of fruits, vegetables, nuts, tuber, oil seeds, beans having much lower carbon carbon prints. Market access of the small land holders will be ensured connecting them with supply chain by way of collecting, sorting, packaging, transportation and retailing.Outlets in urban center will be set up for selling healthy food items collected directly from farmers, provide health education, set up restaurants and kitchen for preparing healthy foods for the working people. The solution will reduce carbon emission from the diesel run irrigation pumps. An estimated 11.06 million farmers are using diesel pumps that consume 1 million tons of diesel yearly (Asian Development Bank Bangladesh 2018). Solar-powered irrigation will replace diesel systems to enhance energy security, reduce local pollution, create jobs and mitigate climate change impacts. The solution will improve income of farmers and prevent rural-urban migration.



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